TRACEABILITY: BEYOND THE TAG
Any farmer who thinks that a tag in the ear represents a traceability system for a beef herd is far off the mark; it simply links the animal to a production unit. A farm or feedlot should have good management practices across the entire production system, writes Dr. Danie Odendaal, a veterinary herd health consultant and director of Veterinarian Network
Stokvel concept offers hope to young farmers
Brought together through necessity by severe and ongoing drought, a group of farmers from Kuruman, Northern Cape, established an unusual stokvel in 2016 to assist each other with the sharing of resources. Thapelo Kgopodithate, the founder of the Makawana Farmers’ Stokvel initiative, spoke to Siyanda Sishuba about the group’s achievements.
Overberg farmers unite to conserve Renosterveld
Farmers in the Overberg wheat belt are working together to conserve one of the planet’s most threatened habitats. In return, they are getting much-needed veld-management support, writes Dr.Odette Curtis-Scott, director of the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust.
No one locks this agripreneur down!
Lengau Mothiane has just signed on another 10 employees to handle the workload at his farmer support services business, Horizon Southern Group. Sabrina Dean spoke to him about his journey.
New Developments In Post-Harvest Technology
Improvements in post-harvest technology have not only helped improve pack-out percentages for fresh produce growers, thus increasing profitability, but also resulted in less food waste. TOMRA, which specialises in post-harvest solutions, has debuted a number of new technologies this year
Planning For Precision Irrigation
Precision irrigation requires a system designed with all your resources and production goals in mind, with the aim of ensuring optimal production.
Benefits Of A Germination Room
One of the crucial factors in seedling production is achieving high and uniform germination.
Canola: The Crop That Requires Perfect Planning
Melt van der Westhuizen of Moorreesburg holds the South African record for the highest canola yield ever produced. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about his production methods.
Why Africa's Food Supply Needs A Regional Approach
By disrupting international supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered much debate about the need for deglobalization. This presents an ideal opportunity for Africa to explore the regionalization of agribusiness on the continent, writes Louis van Ravesteyn, head of Agri-Business Pan Africa within the Personal and Business Banking division at Standard Bank Group.
Plans to revive SA's groundnut industry
Due to drought and a lack of new cultivars, the country’s groundnut industry is in a precarious position. North West producer Lourens de Kock and Adri Botha, chairperson of the South African Groundnut Forum, spoke to Annelie Coleman about what needs to be done to turn the tide.
The many benefits of good tyre traction
Hennie Hattingh is responsible for original equipment sales at the Johannesburg branch of a major Southern African tyre and tube distributor. Stehan Cloete spoke to him about the effect of tyre pressure and tractor ballasting on fuel efficiency and productivity.
Sweet thorn encroachment in the Eastern Cape
A number of woody encroacher species are expanding both their distribution and density in the Eastern Cape. Sweet thorn (Vachellia karroo), the most common of these, detrimentally affects the quality of grazing in the province, writes independent agricultural consultant Dr Louis du Pisani.
Beefmasters produce heavy weaners despite drought
Coenraad Viljoen, who ran the Josephus Beefmaster Stud on Sunny Slopes near East London, said that strict selection criteria had paid off in the long run.
The Importance Of Maintaining Reproductive Health In A Herd
Fourth-generation farmer Gerhard Grobler says he has been able to achieve better results from his beef cattle herd after introducing crossbreeding. But, he adds, South Africa’s beef producers need to start managing animal health more proactively. Pieter Dempsey reports.
How A Community Is Keeping Hope Alive
The drought of the past eight years has transformed the Sutherland district into an austere and desolated landscape, almost lunar-like in its bleakness. Despite the devastation, the community here has decided to do all it can to survive, and help others survive, until the rain comes again. Annelie Coleman reports.
Aardvarks Suffer In Extended Drought
It is not only livestock that are threatened during multi-year droughts; wildlife, too, can succumb to the stress. Dr Nora Weyer and other researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand have found that aardvarks’ feeding in the daytime during extended drought may be a sign that they are starving.
Adapt To The Covid-19 World, Or Die
COVID-19 has not only cost lives and livelihoods; it has changed consumer behaviour and buying patterns. To protect their businesses, farmers need to adapt to new market realities.
Wine Farmers To Fight Ban In Court
Government’s recent decision to reinstate the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages is expected to bring an already struggling wine industry to its knees, with some farmers feeling that not enough has been done by representative bodies to protect them. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
Healthy Food Is Becoming Increasingly Unaffordable
The latest edition of the ‘State of food security and nutrition in the world’ has found that the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, an increase of almost 10% over the past five years. The high costs and low affordability of healthy and nutritious diets also continue to contribute to the malnutrition of billions of people.
THE DEATH MARCH
Graham Jooste dips into the diary of Rudolph Jordaan, who, with other Allied prisoners of war, was forced to work, and ultimately walk, across much of Europe towards the end of the Second World War.
Every cattle operation has to get its animals from A to B, despite the stress it places on them. Here’s how to carry it out smoothly and humanely.
Speedlings sweeten seed cane propagation efficiency
Conventional stick seed cane, while long relied on as the source of plant material for commercial sugar cane crops, comes with unavoidable inefficiencies. Experts in seed cane propagation explain how the ‘speedlings’ concept provides an alternative, cost-efficient option that has already proven itself in South Africa’s deman ing sugar cane farming industry.
Rapid Spread Of Invasive Species
According to researchers at the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University (SU), a total of 1422 alien species are currently naturalised or invasive in South Africa. Much more action is needed to counter the increasing threats posed by invasive alien species in the country, warns Wiida Fourie-Basson, science writer in the SU Faculty of Sciences.
Achieving Employment-Intensive Land Reform In SA
A new study suggests that significant increases in the employment intensity of agriculture can be achieved if land, situated specifically in four local municipalities, is redistributed to smallscale farmers. According to Ben Cousins, emeritus professor at the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, by focusing on specific types of farming in these four areas, almost 24 000 job could be created.
New Harvesting Solution For Premium Red Wine Grapes
New Holland’s new Braud 8030L CombiGrape offers an effective and user-friendly destemming and grapesorting solution to suit the needs of medium-sized vineyards.
Record-Breaking, High-Altitude Ngunis
On 9 May 2020, the Biggs family, who farms in the Eastern Cape, sold a Nguni herd sire for a world-record price of R310 000. Clive Biggs spoke to Mike Burgess about the family’s well-adapted Nandi Nguni stud in the foothills of the Drakensberg near Cedarville.
Insect Farm's Plans For Sustainable Protein
Insect farming, which is increasingly regarded as a sustainable alternative source of protein, has emerged as one of the fastest-growing agricultural industries. Dr Michael Woods, co-founder and CEO of Susento, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about the advantages of insect farming and his goal of producing a high-quality protein sports drink from fly larvae.
Making waves: should South Africa's livestock exports by sea be allowed to continue?
South Africa’s exports of live animals by ship to the Middle East presents a major new opportunity for the country’s red meat farming industry. But the initiative has generated huge controversy within the industry and from animal welfare experts. Lloyd Phillips looks at both sides of the story.
Flicking flies in Barkly East
Fly fishing is as synonymous with the Eastern Cape district of Barkly East as are Merino wool and snow-capped mountains in winter. As Mike Burgess writes, the legacy of fly fishing in the region is not only rich, but evolving.
Varied Tech Solutions Required For Small-Scale Farming
The dual nature of South Africa’s agricultural landscape precludes a one-size-fits-all approach to technology solutions. Small-scale farmers have limited budgets and challenges that cannot be solved without taking their distinctive circumstances into account.